By Natalie Fiorilli | The Duquesne Duke
The Duquesne women’s basketball team doesn’t have to look far to find its next leader.
In her first season with the Dukes, freshman point guard Chassidy Omogrosso is already resembling senior April Robinson, the team’s star point guard.
Omogrosso, of Beaver Falls, leads the Dukes in 3-pointers with 36, and is ranked in the top 50 in the country with a 40.9 percentage from beyond the arc. She also leads Duquesne with a .895 free throw percentage.
“[Omogrosso] can really score the ball,” head coach Dan Burt said. “There’s some similarities [to Robinson.] She looks to score a lot more than April did earlier in her career. She’s also more verbal than April was.”
So far this season, the freshman is ranked third on the team in points with 181, trailing only Robinson and junior forward Amadea Szamosi.
The team – sitting at 15-1 heading into Wednesday night’s game against Rhode Island – has benefited from Omogrosso’s quick progression. They especially need her in conference play, which could boost the Dukes into the Associated Press Top 25.
But Omogrosso tries not to think about high expectations.
“I know my role, so I try to play my role the best I can,” she said. “I know they have high expectations of all of us so I try to do whatever to reach what they ask of me.”
Robinson, who made 38 3-pointers her freshman year and finished with 267 that season, explained that Omogrosso has shown improvement in the short time since her arrival.
“Chassidy is a great teammate,” Robinson said. “She has definitely grown into a better player since she first stepped on campus. She continues to strive to better her overall game and is very coachable.”
The upperclassmen, along with the coaching staff, have assisted Omogrosso in her transition to playing at the collegiate level.
“Everyone has definitely taken me under their wing, especially the older girls,” Omogrosso said. “I love all of my teammates. Definitely playing with the experienced girls, the older girls, helps a lot because they’ve been playing college basketball for three or four years. That helps a lot, to know how to play the game.”
Though most of her time is spent on the court, Omogrosso, a business student, said the academic experience of college has been an adjustment.
“It’s kind of hard to do homework on the road or on the bus,” Omogrosso said. “But time management is something that you need to learn. It gets easier, it’s starting to get easier as I get used to it.”
Being a freshman, she’s not completely sure of her plans for the future, but she hasn’t ruled out playing professionally.
“I haven’t really thought about it. Maybe eventually be a coach or if I had the opportunity to try to go overseas or professional. I’m not sure, that’s so far away.”
Similarly, the Dukes are trying not to think too far ahead of themselves, while keeping an NCAA Tournament bid within reach.
“We’re trying to take it one game at a time to reach our goal,” Omogrosso said. “We don’t want to think too far ahead into the future.”
As the season unfolds, the Dukes will continue to look for Omogrosso to produce.
“She’s going to be a special kid,” Burt explained. “She’s going to be a special player over her four years. We’re excited to have her.”